This was one of those spur of the moment things that I’m so pleased with, it’s DEFINITELY going to become a permanent part of my staples in my Keto pantry.
The reason these babies came about was because I was craving a Caesar salad. But you can’t have a Caesar salad without croutons right!!!
As I learnt, Keto Croutons couldn’t be simpler to make. If making microwave Keto Flax Bread was the easiest recipe in the world, this is just one step up.
They take less than 10 minutes to prepare, are quite moreish (I finished 3 portions of the 4 I made in one day). It also makes for a satisfying Keto snack-on-the-run. I’ve actually been munching on them with cheese (like flax crackers I suppose). They’re THAT good and guilt-free, and SUPER CRUNCHY 🙂 !
This recipe make approximately 4 servings.
Utensils & Ingredients
1 Microwavable Dish (I used a glass dish that was approximately 5×5 inch)
Butter (or oil) to grease
1 Medium Egg
4 Tbsp Flax Meal (You could also probably make it from Almond Meal)
1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt of choice
OPTIONAL Spices / Seasonings of choice: E.g. Pepper, Chilli, Garlic, Onion, Cayenne, Paprika, Turmeric etc.
Grease your dish with the butter or oil.
Crack and beat the egg in the dish.
Add the flax, baking powder, salt, and optional spices and seasonings of choice.
Stir the mixture well until everything is well incorporated.
Microwave for 2 minutes.
(Click here for step-by-step images of how to make microwave keto bread)
Remove the bread from the microwave and slice it into two slices, then cut into crouton sized cubes.
Place the bread cubes on a plate and microwave in 1 minute bursts until hard. (Mine took 2 minutes in total).
Cool, sprinkle on your salad, or eat as it is with a dip or cheese!
I love kale but bittergourd / bittermelon / bittersquash / Balsam-pear / Karela / Goya – call it what you will, my reaction to it would have been the same until very recently. EURGH!!! It’s just so erm, intensely bitter? HOW could anyone with normal tastebuds enjoy it?
This is a recipe to start initiating yourself into the world of bittergourd! It’s actually yummy and moreish.
I don’t know how else to start this post but to say that until I started preparing bittergourd this way, it has been nearly (but not quite at) the top of my hate list of vegetables (or is it a fruit?) . Either way it’s something that until very recently my tastebuds detested.
Being Bengali this is shameful as it’s a staple vegetable in many dishes including my boyfriends beloved “Shukto” or Bengali style mixed vegetable. Bengali’s love exciting the tastebuds, and this mighty vegetable definitely does. I unfortunately cannot make a “Shukto” yet (but I shall soon!).
Amongst other nutritious elements, bittergourd is a high potassium vegetable, which is something that on the keto diet, I’ve been struggling with and have been searching for ways to incorporate it into my every day diet. If it wasn’t already obvious enough, I’m a bittergourd hater, but this simple recipe my friends, I simply cannot get enough of!
Although it’s commonly seen in Asian households, it’s highly underrated in the western world but it’s increasingly available in supermarkets (and readily available in the Asian / Indian markets).
Bittergourd: Reasons why I can’t get enough of it now
The green colour! And how it changes into a brighter green when you season raw bittergourd with salt. It’s magic :-).
It looks weird and dangerous, like a massive green club.
It can be delicious and moorish, when done right (like this recipe)!
These crisps keep well for a few days in the refrigerator.
I’m not listing any quantities for the dressing below because I believe it’s entirely up to your tastebuds and personal preferences as to how flavoursome you’d like your crisps to be! Quantities for the vegetables are also up to you, the 1-2 cups are just a guideline.
1-2 cups sliced bittergourd: Washed, dried and sliced thin.
1-2 cups Kale: Washed, dried and torn into larger than bite-sized pieces (they will shrink when baked).
Olive oil (or any other oil of choice). I personally like to use a garlic olive oil.
Nutritional Yeast (This is where the ‘cheese-ey’ flavour comes from. There isn’t any actual cheese in this recipe.)
Himalayan Salt / Sea Salt.
Heat the oil in a suitable pan. You will you need enough oil to fry the bittergourd until they’re crispy.
Slice the bittergourd into thin round slices and wash thoroughly.
Sprinkle salt onto the bittergourd and massage into it well. Leave for 10 minutes.
Shallow fry the bittergourd in the oil until they’re darker and crispy but watch closely to make sure they don’t burn. The seeds should be crispy. (You could also try baking them, but we haven’t attempted this before).
Once fried, dress the bittergourd with nutritional yeast, onion powder, himalayan salt and cayenne pepper according to your macros and taste.Tip: The bittergourd crisps keeps well in the fridge for a few days so you can make a large batch of this and snack on it (if it lasts)! It’s good cold, room temperature, or can be reheated in the oven or dry-toasted in a pan on the stove top.
Wash and dry the kale well.
Pre-heat an oven to 150-160C (it depends on your oven but I find that a lower temperature works better).
Massage the kale with olive oil, nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt and cayenne pepper according to your macros and taste. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Bake your kale chips in the oven for about 12-15 mins, and then give them a toss, then bake them again for another 10-12 mins (or until crispy but not burnt).
I don’t think kale crisps keep as well as bittergourd crisps, so eat the same day if possible.
Eat separately or mix BOTH the bittergourd and kale crisps up for the best of both worlds and enjoy getting your greens and nutrition in!
I cannot tell you how amazing these little buns are! In fact, the day I tested them out, an aunt and uncle popped by unannounced, and they were astounded at the ingredients, and at how it smelled and looked like actual bread! They’re not Keto but they tried it and quite liked it as well – Score!
The original recipe for bagels can be found on The Herbivore Post website, however I tweaked it to make buns and added paprika, cayenne pepper and Himalayan salt to the mixture as well. And a few pumpkin and sunflower seeds on top.
This is going to become a staple I feel!
For the Tahini
3/4-1 cup sesame seeds
Optional: 1-3 tbsp olive oil (or any neutral oil)
For the buns
3tbsp flax meal
1/4cup psyllium husk powder
1/4cup almond flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Spices to taste: I used Paprika and Cayenne Pepper (approximately 1tsp each)
Optional: Seeds e.g. pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, chia.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C (375F) and prepare a baking tray with greaseproof paper. I added some extra coconut butter to the paper.
2. Measure out 3/4-1 cup Sesame Seeds for your Tahini (ignore the measurement in the picture!!!). This will give you more than the required 1/2 cup of Tahini required for the recipe, and you can have some extra to create delicious keto salad dressings!
3. Dry toast the sesame seeds in a pan to release the oils. Keep stirring as they burn easily, once they get a bit of colour and you get a toasty smell, take them off the heat and cool.
4. Blend the cooled sesame seeds in a grinder or food processor. Once it gets towards the end, add the oil (1-3 tbsp) to get the smooth consistency if required.
5. Take 1/2 cup of the Tahini and add 1 cup of water: Mix well. (If there’s oil in Tahini it might separate and that’s fine).
6. Take a large bowl and add the dry ingredients: Flax, almond meal, psyllium husk powder, baking powder, and salt.
7. Mix the wet ingredients (Tahini and water mixture) to the dry ingredients in step 6.
8. Add any spices if you like. As mentioned I added paprika and cayenne pepper. And mix well.
9. The dough will quickly come together and you will get a dough ball that looks like this:
10. Cut the dought into 4 pieces.
11. Roll the dough between your hands into bun shaped balls and decorate the top if you like with seeds of choice. I used pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
12. Bake for 45 minutes at 190C (375F) and wash up while you wait! You will get these at the end!
13. This is what the insides look like.
14. And this is how I ate mine!!!
(The macros I calculated per serving are slightly different to that in herbivorepost but they’re great)!
It’s when many of us are vulnerable to seizures. Mine normally occur when I’m incredibly tired and sleepy, so first thing in the morning is primetime for the seizure gremlins to attack.
It’s therefore vital that my mornings are peaceful and stress-free. Most people don’t like being disturbed in the AM, but I should probably come with a DND warning sign before 8 am and a matcha latte.
I’ve really missed grabbing a quick cereal, yogurt and fruit-to-go
It does seem like Keto breakfasts are ‘mostly’ soft and/or warm and generally take a lot of time and effort to prepare. There seems to be a lot of ‘cooking’ involved to get those macros in. Precious time which most people don’t have.
This Low-Carb Crumbly Coconut Granola recipe came about on my quest for a cold, crunchy ‘Keto Cereal’! I just couldn’t deal with the cravings anymore, and there was nothing in the shops that catered to my needs.
Granola in the shops tend to have sugar or honey, or gluten. This is a homemade solution to my dilemma, bearing in mind that I also needed a high fat intake in addition to low-carb – hence the coconut oil.
Granted, it kind of looks like sand, but it TASTES like a Keto breakfast from heaven! Especially if you’ve been eating bacon and eggs everyday!
A great meal-prep recipe for the working week
It might take some time the first time round, but once you get the hang of making granola, and if you have the ingredients lying around, it shouldn’t take too long the next few times.
The best thing about making any type of granola is you could make a large batch and keep it in an air-tight container for a few weeks (if it lasts that long! I’d give it a few days).
Other benefits of this Granola
The texture of this granola also means that it’s great as a crumbly topping on other desserts (I had it on top of my panna cotta yesterday!).
An average portion (5 tbsp) has just 3.1g net carbs and 27.5g fat.
An average serving also has 114.3 mg Magnesium and 299.7 mg Potassium – two minerals that Keto-ers often find challenging incorporating into our lifestyle.
So without further ado, here we go:
Makes 45 tablespoons (average serving = 5 tablespoon)
You will need:
Flax Meal: 1 cup
Coconut Flour: 0.5 cup
Almond Flour: 0.5 cup
Coconut Oil: 0.5 cup
Vanilla stevia liquid: 3-5 drops (OR other sweetener of choice and vanilla essence or vanilla bean powder).
Pumpkin seeds: 0.25 cup
Sunflower seeds: 0.25 cup
Dried coconut flakes/chips: 0.25 cup
Cinnamon powder: 0.5 tsp (optional)
Preheat the oven to 160C (320F) and prepare a baking tray by lining it with parchment paper for your granola.
In a large mixing bowl, add the flax meal, coconut flour and almond flour.
3. Measure out 0.5 cup of Coconut oil.
4. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave or over a low heat.
5. Add the melted coconut oil into the flax-coconut-almond mixture.
6. Add Vanilla stevia drops to taste (approximately 3-5 drops). Alternatively, add vanilla essence or powder and sweetener or choice.
7. Stir the mixture well until it starts the come to together – it should start to look like slightly damp sand.
8. Measure out nuts and seeds of choice. I used pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts and dried coconut.
9 (optional). Add cinnamon.
10. Mix the nuts, seeds and cinnamon into the granola mixture well.
11. Grab the baking tray you prepared in the beginning. Add a tiny bit of coconut oil to it (you can never be too careful!) and pour the granola mixture onto the parchment paper, spreading it out and flattening it down.
12. Bake in the oven at 160C (320F) for 15-20 minutes, or until the mixture has toasted and is golden-brown in colour. Take it out of the oven every 5-10 minutes to give it a good stir. (Note: You could increase the temperature up to 176C / 350F but keep a close eye on the granola mixture as it is finer than usual, so I like to keep the temperature lower and just increase it at the end for a final toast!).
13. Remove from the oven, cool and store in an air-tight container!
This recipe came about as I was looking for an alternative to the Bulletproof Coffee and my version of the Bulletproof Chai Latte. I’m sensitive to caffeine and should avoid (high doses of) it, but I needed something which had a bit more of a kick to start the day, without the jitteriness from coffee.
Tea, caffeine & epilepsy
Before I start, note that caffeine and epilepsy aren’t exactly the best of friends, and all teas do contain some amount of caffeine so epileptics do need to drink it with caution.
However, tea is my weakness and I’m from a part of India where we love our tea but I try and limit myself to 1-2 cups a day.
Depending on the serving, a serving of Matcha contains approximately 35mg caffeine. This normally isn’t enough to make you feel “wired” like coffee does. Bearing in mind that an average cup of filter coffee has 145mg of caffeine, and a cup of instant coffee can have up to 170mg per cup.
The caffeine in Matcha is also absorbed differently due to ‘catechins’ which are antioxidants and known to have many beneficial health properties. Caffeine molecules in Matcha bind to catechins and are absorbed slowly over time. Whereas caffeine molecules in coffee go straight to the bloodstream leading to a high followed by a crash within a few hours. With Matcha however, the caffeine is absorbed over the course of up to six hours.
This is a literature review of the beneficial effects of green tea – many of which are related to catechins, particularly epigallocatechin-3-gallat content. Recently it has been suggested that Matcha has greater benefits than other green teas as indicated in this study. This is due to the concentration of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) available from drinking matcha which is seen to be 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG available from China Green Tips green tea, and at least 3 times higher than the largest literature value for other green teas.
So overall, I think the nutritional health benefits are worth it!
Keto Bullet Matcha Milk / Latte
Apart from Matcha, the key ingredient in this brain boosting Matcha Milk is MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) Oil.
MCT’s are found in coconut oil, but also in palm oil and high fat products such as cheese and butter.
MCT’s are considered to be good fuel for the brain because they are smaller and easily metabolised.
MCT oil is a manmade supplement produced from coconut oil, palm oil or safflower oil.
This study highlights that MCTs offer neuro-protective benefits for a range of diseases including epilepsy as well as dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke and traumatic brain injury.
You will need:
Matcha green tea powder: 1-2 tsp
Almond Milk: 1 cup
Vanilla Stevia drops: 1-2
MCT Oil: 1 tbsp
(Optional) Butter of choice: 1 tbsp
(Optional) For a bit of a twist, sometimes I like to add 1/2 a teaspoon of Cinnamon to my Matcha milk / latte.
In a bowl, whisk the matcha powder in some warm water.
(Warm the almond milk if you’d like a warm milk).
In a high-speed blender, add the almond milk, matcha, vanilla stevia and MCT Oil.
Blend for 30 seconds – 1 minute – A froth will have formed on top when you stop, and the matcha should be well combined.
There are a few things that I find very frustrating on the keto lifestyle with epilepsy at present. These are namely:
Tiredness and lethargy.
(Note: for people who don’t have epilepsy reading this, this probably won’t affect you apart from the initial induction / ‘Keto flu’ period. For those of us with epilepsy, this is why it might be prolonged.).
Watching people eat bread, chips and desserts when I’m out!
But then again there are many things that I’m loving about the experience so far. A few of these are:
Discovering new things about my body every day.
A pretty impressive digestive system – the fibre in the keto diet must be working its magic! It only lets me down when I eat too much lactose.
Reading and learning about a whole new world of diet and nutrition.
Discovering new foods, recipes and getting creative in the kitchen.
The knowledge that I’m feeding my body nutritious food.
Building willpower and the comfort of knowing that I’m capable of creating delicious keto alternatives to bread, chips and desserts (this knowledge keeps me going when I’m out watching others eat carb-loaded foods! I have the good stuff waiting for me back at home in my kitchen).
So you see, there’s a lot to love about lifestyle, and the pros outweigh the costs!
Natures Fat Bombs – Nuts!
Nuts are my snacking staple. They’re high in fiber and numerous micro-nutrients, and there’s so much you can do with them. They’re great as an on-to-go snack, in desserts, and really are natures fat bombs.
Because I find it really hard to hit my fat macros, I find that some nuts in particular are ideal to munch on, namely Pecans and Brazil Nuts. But days when I feel like I’ve had too many calories as well, my go-tos tends to be almonds, pistachios, peanuts or hazelnuts.
Below is some useful nutrition information for various nuts:
The only thing that tops nuts on my snack list is CHOCOLATE! And boy am I glad that Dark Chocolate is legit on the keto diet!
The benefits of dark chocolate and its miraculous properties deserves a whole post to itself so I’ll save that for another day, BUT the reason I’m writing this is because this post is all about chocolate covered nuts – my ultimate keto comfort snack.
My new chocolate discovery – Montezuma’s !!!
As I was working in a coffee shop the other day, I got peckish and unfortunately this popular coffee shop chain largely still does carb-loaded goods. Even the salads in this cafe were “pasta salads”. So I ventured to the supermarket to stock up on sneaky snacks to sustain me whilst I worked.
I was very excited to find this, hidden away in the chocolate aisle:
And I was even more thrilled to discover the nutritional values.
Wait for it…
The nutrition label says that 100g (i.e. the WHOLE BAR) has just 8g of carbs, and 17g of Fibre.
Now on Keto as we’re calculating net carbs (Carbs minus fibre), does this mean this bar of chocolate is actually negligible in terms of net carbs (-9)? Drop me an e-mail with your thoughts on this because I could be wrong, but until I have more clarity – I’M INDULGING!
As can be expected with 100% cocoa dark chocolate – it’s bitter AF. So much so, they’ve put a warning on the back of the package which has almost become a tagline for the brand – “For that dramatic cocoa hit. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!” This is great I think, because a little goes a long way when you’re looking for your cocoa high!
Which brings me to my next point – it’s not cheap. I got this bar for £2.50. However on Amazon you could buy in bulk and save some that way. And I look at it as an investment for all the keto chocolate goodies I could make.
On top of that, you are paying for a top-quality British product. I cannot describe in words how smooth the texture of the chocolate is. It really is incredible and something one needs to touch and taste for oneself.
Low Carb Chocolate Covered Nuts
So I wanted to make my chocolate investment last for a while (and there’s no way I could eat a block of 100% dark chocolate so I would have to sweeten it up Keto style.)
Hence here is a very sweet and simple recipe for chocolate covered nuts! These are great on their own, or as a crunchy topping on something else.
Note: ANY Dark Chocolate will do, just make sure it’s at least 85% dark chocolate so as not to throw you out of ketosis.
13 servings (1 serving = 5 nuts)
You will need:
Nuts (I used 25 pecans and 40 almonds for this recipe, and the macros reflect the same).
¼ tsp Himalayan salt
25g Dark Chocolate
2-3 drops Vanilla Stevia
Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds (or until melted).
Stir in Vanilla Stevia and adjust sweetness to taste.
Add nuts and salt to the mixture and stir well ensuring all the nuts are covered with the chocolate.
Place some parchment paper on a plate, and place the chocolate covered nuts on the parchment paper.
Place the plate in the fridge to cool and allow time for the chocolate to re-harden around the nuts.
Once the chocolate has hardened, remove from the parchment, and store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
NOTE: To boost the “Fatbomb” quotient per serving, you could add a tablespoon of MCT Oil to the chocolate mixture.
The temperature has been steadily creeping up in London recently, and today it reached a sunny ☀ 29°C! I find it incredibly difficult to eat enough and hit my macros when it’s warm outside. I know my tactic ‘should’ be to eat higher fat/calorie food. However, this recipe isn’t that. It’s my summer comfort food – FROZEN 🍓 YOGURT (FroYo) – which is keto friendly if berries are on your list.
Berries on Keto
As a fruit lover (I went through a raw vegan phase once upon a time), the hardest thing for me to let go on this diet has been fruit. If this was a zero fruit lifestyle I don’t think I could have done it, so the fact that berries are allowed are a saving grace. I’m of the mentality – Measure it.If it fits in your macros, it’s OK! 👌 If I could, I think I could happily survive on berries.
Just for your information, according to Cronometer (which is the app I use to measure and monitor my nutrition), summer berries have the following Net Carbs:
1 cup strawberry halves: 8.7g
1 medium strawberry: 0.7g
1 cup blueberries: 17.8g
1 blueberry: 0.2g
1 cup blackberry: 6.2g
1 blackberry: 0.2g
1 cup raspberries: 6.7g
1 raspberry: 0.1g
As it’s summer and berries are very much in season in the UK, I intend on incorporating them in my diet until they’re not! (and then freezing enough to last me the winter 😏).
Meal prepping desserts
As a dessert addict, I think meal prepping applies as much to desserts as it does to breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Especially for someone with a sweet tooth like mine as you really need to watch your macros. The carbs can creep up on you on anything sweet. Meal prepping is an opportunity to control your portions.
I think this good weather called for some frozen yogurt prepping in a massive batch, so I made a large LOG of frozen berry cheesecake yogurt.
This made approximately 10 portions which I then cut up and froze and can de-frost and blend with some additional yogurt or nut milk as and when I desire!
Besides being a fabulous dessert or snack, I think this makes a great base for a breakfast. You could turn it into a strawberry cheesecake smoothie, or even a quick hearty breakkie bowl with a homemade keto ‘cereal’ made from nuts and seeds.
Hiding my fat (in my food)
As I’m always seeking ways to “hide” fat in my food without it overpowering the flavour of the food, this recipe has some avocado hidden in it which gives it some creaminess, but nothing else. Love it or hate it, you can’t taste or see it at all.
I wouldn’t say the cream cheese is “hidden” fat because it’s supposed to be a cheesecake FroYo after all, so you should get a hint of cream cheese, but in terms of fat content – you do get a significant amount of it from the cheese. If the amount of fat isn’t enough for you going by the macros below, I would just increase the amount of cream cheese rather than anything else.
Increasing the amount of avocado might make it overpowering, and increasing the amount of yogurt might affect the amount of carbs. But play around and use your judgement!
I blended it with some almond milk and sprinkled hemp seeds on top one day which boosted the protein and fat without affecting carbs *win win*!
1 log (10 servings)
You will need:
1 freezer friendly loaf tin
Fresh or frozen strawberries: 2 cups
Fresh or frozen blueberries: 0.5 cup
Greek Yogurt: 1 cup
Cream Cheese: 45g
Avocado (ripe): 1 large / approximately 120g
Vanilla Stevia (or other sweetener): 2-3 drops (adjust as required).
Blend strawberries and greek yogurt in a food processor until well combined. (Note: If you intend on eating some of it immediately, use frozen strawberries).
Add cream cheese, avocado, and vanilla stevia and continue processing for a few minutes until the FroYo mixture is a consistency you would like.
Taste and adjust at this point as required.
Prepare a loaf tin by lining it with parchment paper.
Add blueberries to the bottom of the loaf tin.
Pour the FroYo mixture into the loaf tin and freeze for 2-3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes if possible.
Once the block of FroYo is solid, cut it into servings and re-freeze for future use!
To defrost and devour just let it stand out for a bit, or to turn it into more of a soft FroYo, add a bit of yogurt or nut milk and blend.
This recipe is ideal for anyone dealing with Keto Flu, short on time, or just seeking your daily dose of vitamins and minerals from food sources (check the macros below)!
It’s well known that keto-ers can face issues with potassium. It’s one mineral that I am currently struggling with as I write this. Also, as it’s nearly that time of the month, I’m facing a tripply whammy of epilepsy, keto mood swings, and pms.
So for the women out there, this is a good one! I figured I better take precautions to ensure that I’m getting enough potassium from dietary sources as on top of everything else, low potassium levels can lead to menstrual cramps, and I get baaaad cramps due to PCOS. My epilepsy is also further triggered by hormones, and I could do without an episode at this point in time.
Anyway this super simple Salmon Spinach Miso Soup takes less than 10 minutes to prepare (perfect for when you’re not feeling well 🤒).
You will need:
2 cups of chicken bone broth (homemade preferably)
1 tsp miso paste
0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups of chopped spinach
80g egg tofu or soya tofu
2 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
Heat the bone broth over medium heat with miso paste and cayenne pepper until well combined.
Once the broth starts boiling, lower the heat and add the spinach first to wilt it down.
After 1-2 minutes add the salmon and tofu. Cook in the boiling broth for a further 2-3 minutes and then serve. (Both will carry on cooking in the hot broth once you take it off.)
Taste and add extra salt to taste of needed.
Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and serve piping hot!